Family of late journalist struggles to come to terms with post-mortem report

The family of The Citizen's late news editor Yadhana Jadoo say they are struggling to make sense of post-mortem reports on her death.

Jadoo, 34, died on April 25 while attending a training course in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The event was arranged by the Union of African Journalists in which 22 other journalists participated. 

Jadoo's younger sister, Vedharshi, said while the family waited for almost seven months for closure, there were still "no clear answers" about the untimely death of her sister as there are discrepancies between the preliminary and final post-mortem reports. 

"There are so many discrepancies in this [final] report and we know most of the things that happened. We are struggling to come to terms with [this] report in terms of the Egyptian ministry expecting us to accept it just like this," she said.

She said it had been a "rough and difficult road" for the family.   

ALSO READ: Family devastated after death of SA journalist in Cairo, cause still unknown

A preliminary report sent to them in June by the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) stated that the cause of Jadoo's death was a "diabetic coma and severe hypertension".

However, an autopsy report that was released last week stated that she died from methyl alcohol poisoning.

Among other things, the report stated that the methyl alcohol ingestion led to the collapse of multiple vital organs.

According to The Citizen, a poison expert and director of the Tygerberg Poison Information Centre in Cape Town, said methanol could also be found in home-brewed alcohol as a cheaper substitute for ethanol, especially in Eastern Europe.

Vedharshi said all the reports had inconsistencies and the family needed more clarity.

She said they would ask "relevant authorities" to challenge the investigation that resulted in the report. 

'Private autopsy'

Vedharshi said the family had since requested Dirco to help them obtain camera footage to reveal what really happened to her sister.

"We are actually very unsure of who to speak to and which way forward because everybody is just basically taking us to the next person," she said.

Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said if Jadoo's family was unhappy with the autopsy results, it was their right to pay for a "private autopsy". 

He said the department was willing to convey any requests the family had to authorities in Egypt. 

Mabaya said all questions regarding perceived contradictions between the preliminary and the latest reports would best be answered by the Egyptian authorities. 

"Our job is to assist [them]. We are responsible for making sure that their communications with the Egyptian authorities are taken seriously," he said.

He added that the department was therefore inviting the family to engage with it on any issues that may arise so that they can find solutions. 

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